This fall’s preseason camp for the Jaguar football team has been chock full of competitive battles.
Heated positional skirmishes and chirpy exchanges among those vying for coveted jobs is a daily occurrence on The Bluff.
Whether it be a positional battle in the secondary or interior linemen squaring off against each other, heated competition has been the name of the game.
Yet there is no competition more exciting than when first team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference receiver Lee Doss lines up opposite second-team All-SWAC cornerback Virgil Williams.
The defensive players on the sideline begin barking at Doss in anticipation for what is about to seen.
Two of the best at their respective crafts going one-on-one.
“Shut him Down, seven!” is heard from the defensive sideline in reference to Williams’ No. 7 jersey.
Doss is quick to let the reserve defenders know that no one on the defense can stop him, not even the team’s best cover corner.
The ball is snapped to quarterback Dray Joseph, who looks to Doss’ side of the field.
Doss beats Williams off the line with a swim move, only to have Williams recover and make up the deficit as Joseph cocks his arm back and fires a pass down the sideline.
Doss and Williams go up for the ball at the same time with Doss snatching the ball out of the air at its highest peak.
However, Williams is able to rip the ball loose from Doss’ grip just before he is able to secure the pass.
Incomplete. Fourth down.
The defense runs toward Williams with triumph and celebrates with their star cornerback as the Jaguars’ leading receiver saunters back to the huddle, pleading for the pass to be thrown his way on the ensuing play.
“Those are two senior competitors,” Odums said with a grin in regards to Doss and Williams. “Those are two very good football players. It’s great to see those two competitors go at each other.”
The Jaguars will be highly dependent upon Doss and Williams to be leaders on their respective sides of the football, not just vocally but also with their play on the field.
Although the two go at each other on a regular basis, there is a shared respect among the athletes.
“Virgil and I talked about how we are going to have to give each other competition during practice,” Doss said. “I feel like he is the best defensive back in the SWAC and he feels like I am one of the best receivers in the conference.”
Williams echoed Doss’ sentiments on the competitive nature of their relationship.
“Lee and I always call each other out at practice,” Williams said. “He’s one of the top receivers in the SWAC. I believe if I can cover him, the chances of me being able to cover anyone else will increase.”
Doss described what makes Williams such a great corner.
“He’s patient. A lot of cornerbacks will get excited and try and jump routes, but with him if I try and do a double move on him, I still have to stack him because I know he is still on top of my routes. He’s not going to bite on just anything.
“You can’t give away anything to Virgil. I’ve got to do everything that (wide receivers coach Chris) Coleman teaches me to do. You’ve got to sit on your routes and you can’t give anything away.”
Williams went on to define what makes Doss the player that he is.
“He’s a great receiver and great route runner,” Williams said. “He does a great job of getting open.”
“It’s his effort in general. It seems like sometimes you have him covered and he just goes up and gets the ball.”
When all is said and done, competitors will compete, so long as there is a winner.
“We’re always competing. Whether it’s on the field or off the field,” Williams said.
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